Cajuns for Christ, a ministry to the athletes at the University of Louisiana co-sponsored by Chi Alpha and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes began in 1994 when Eric Treuil, as campus minister, started a Wednesday Bible study in the athletic dorm for the athletes across every sport. The time demand for athletes is pretty intense, from workouts, practices, film sessions, and study hall, along with various other meetings. With all these demands, it leaves very little time for athletes to get involved with activities of a regular student and the reason our weekly Bible study has to be after 8pm and specific to athletes.
In 1999, the school’s coach invited him to travel with the team as a volunteer chaplain to present pregame messages. Neither players nor staff are required to attend, but Treuil says the coach is there every time, along with most of the team. The outreach to the athletes also involves weekly attending practices, going to the weight room, and being present whenever the team gathers.
Many of the athletes have committed their lives to Christ in the Bible studies, in conversations with Eric traveling to games, and at XA events. One such athlete was Charles “Peanut” Tillman, described by Eric as a devout student with no church background. Charles came to the athlete Bible study and gave his life to Christ. After graduating, he played 13 years in the National Football League, 12 of those years as a cornerback with the Chicago Bears, and played in the Super Bowl 41. In his final year 2015, he played with the Carolina Panthers.
Several athletes have followed up salvation with water baptism in the UL Intramural Center swimming pool. At an away game, Otha Peters, linebacker for UL Ragin’ Cajuns, told Eric the Lord convicted him of his need to be baptized in water, so Eric baptized him in the swimming pool at the hotel where the athletes were staying.
For 27 years, Eric has enjoyed a relationship with several of the UL coaches and a discipling and mentoring role with athletes, and conducted marriage ceremonies for athletes. About 60 XA students assist at each home game by carrying the world’s largest Louisiana state flag on the field as a part of pre-game festivities. The Ragin Cajuns ended last season, ranked #15 in the AP poll with a 10-1 record. Eric does a live pregame Facebook broadcast weekly with the film coordinator of the Ragin Cajuns Darren Walker. Also, while on road games, Eric makes it his habit to connect with the local Chi Alpha missionaries and encourage them to reach out to athletes.
For the original news story see: https://news.ag.org/en/News/Ragin-for-Christ by DeAnn Alford, Sept. 28, 2021
Did you know there are other XA missionaries serving as football chaplains to reach college athletes at University of California Davis, Idaho State University, University of Central Arkansas, Southern Arkansas University, Sam Houston State University, Nicholls State University (Louisiana), and Western New Mexico State U.
Dateline: Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia
Daniel and Catherine Andrew are pioneering XA at Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, and Daniel has met with the athletes and formed a discipleship group for athletes.
Check out, an article in Christianity Today, “For God so Loved the World, He Played”